The high-end pulling horses are usually on the high-strung side for a drafter. Not necessarily hard to handle, but they know their job, they are fed to the hilt, and they are used to work every day. It takes a ton of time to keep them in shape and fitted up and the guys that pull their horses spend more time with them than you can imagine.
That being said, they are used to being hauled, to travel, to noises and sounds and sights. They work well in harness and tend to be broke to death IF you have the skills to drive them.
Because of the miles and hard work, they can have some wear and tear issues to deal with.
I would be wary of the horse in the video.... if he's being sold at bargain basement and was a logging/pulling horse, he's got some issues. He's also lame in the left rear leg. He's aggressive is a red flag. This may not be a horse you can turn out with other horses. Old horses who's teammate died can sometimes flat out refuse to associate with other horses.
What do you want him for? Do you want to drive him or just let the horse hang out in a field?
So I have 2 adopted drafts. One was a former amish workhorse, and the other a carriage horse. Both LOVE to pull and perk up as soon as they get to "work". If you are looking for a well-behaved horse, it is hit or miss. My Duke (amish) is stubborn, picky about everything, and has NO manners. He loves to work, and doesn't care how much pain (arthritis) he is in, if there is work, he wants to be doing it. He has no clue how to be a horse, and only knew work until we adopted him. We had to teach him to take treats, he was suspicious of everyone around him, and took a lot of time to gain his trust. I am talking hours and hours spent with him every day for weeks on end before he would even come up for a sniff. Now that I have his trust, I get nuzzles everyday but he is still a turd with no manners.
Loretta (carriage) is the total opposite. She is a social butterfly and loves humans, horses, chickens, etc. She will walk up to anyone for head scratches and a nuzzle, stands for the farrier (Duke is an absolute nightmare) and can be in a pasture with any other horse, yet Duke barely likes himself..... She is content working, or content standing in a pasture in the sun.
If you want a horse that you can ride, its also hit or miss. We are unsure if Duke has ever been ridden so we stay off. Loretta on the other hand, loves to be ridden (just be aware they don't have the same musculature as trail horses so they take some time to get used to). Duke understands verbal queues in Dutch, while Loretta is much more sensitive to touch and the bit.
If you are just looking for a companion horse (which is what we wanted) I totally recommend adopting a draft. Their personalities are all so totally different and complex. They give great facial expression, and Loretta even gives "side eye" to Duke when he behaves poorly. Just be mindful of the fact that these horses know work and some only know work. Duke has no idea how to be a horse. He does not play, does not chase, and didn't understand treats or a positive encounter with a human. If you just let them stand in a pasture, they will lose their muscle tone and topline.
They need to be doing some sort of work, even if it just working out in the round pen or pulling logs in your yard. Some will take a lot of time, and energy to bond with, and others, you bond right away. They are truly amazing creatures, and I am so glad I started my journey into the horse world with drafts.
A pulling-type draft can have a very different mindset to a work/carriage draft. I love drafts and tend not to balk at difficult horses, but a few of the guys around here have competitive pulling teams, and those are usually not the draft horse for the first time draft horse person. Not that they're bad horses or hard to handle, but they like to work, they want to work, they are used to hard work, and are not happy standing around in a pen or just ambling down the road.
What are your goals for this horse?
Just my opinion, but if you want a riding horse, then it makes little sense to buy a horse bred to pull
Yes, I am aware that many people do ride them, as the cold blood temperament makes them great trail horses, very often, plus enough people buy drafts to ride, that there now are saddles a designed to fit them
Many draft crosses also inherit the correct attributes from both parents, to being top athletes under saddle.
Don't get me wrong< I still have a fondness for drafts, esp Percherons, as those were the hroses I learned to ride on, since my stepdad had them for working in the tobacco fields.
I think you need to first sit down and ask as to what your goals are with this horse, and base your decision on that
Some of the hitch bred drafts can be h*ll on 4 hooves. I've watched SIL with them for years and I couldn't imagine dealing with that personality combined with the sheer size. A tempermental saddle horse here that is only 14 hands is a handful. Add the bulk of a pulling horse and the bull your way froward mentality. No thanks. I would suspect they are used up if they are for sale as an older horse for a low price. I don't see a video just a picture. If you didn't keep him in condition he'd lose his topline pretty quick. I suppose if you had logging work and were experienced he could still have some useful years but if the ad said aggressive I'd believe it and he wouldn't be on my list of potentials.
Thank you all for your replies, I had no idea there were so many! I apologize for not obeying the forum rules and posting a link to Facebook. Thank you Jaydee for pulling the photo off of the video.
I really was just curious. I enjoy watching horse pulling competitions (nostalgia) and admire the animals involved, but I suspected that their training, and the personality needed to win such an event, would mean that they were not a good choice for a beginner. The horse in question peaked my curiosity because a. he had pulling shoes on, so I figured that much of the information about him was true; and b. he is one of the few younger draft animals that this particular auction site (kill buyers) has ever advertised. Most of them look like they are going to fall over dead any minute, even to a novice like me.
And you must admit, he is gorgeous.
I'm guessing that pulling horses would be hard to stop once they get going, and probably have been trained to jump right off, fast, like a race horse, once they hear the apparatus connect to the weight. That would not be good for me.
As far as my individual goals, in the alternate universe where I have a million dollars to spare for a horse, I would get a middle-aged, voice-trained (Amish) draft horse and just amble around on its back at a slow, slow pace, probably not more than once a week. No need for it to get along with other horses, go faster than a walk, or do anything with reins. Just stop when I say stop and go when I say go. I'm happy to groom and feed it in return for this favor. I have no work for it to do so a horse that needed to be kept busy would not do well with me.
While I wait for that pipe dream to happen, I will just continue lurking in the forums and asking random questions.